This is the scariest animal sound on the planet, and you may hear it often

Lions, tigers, bears, when these animals roar, they frighten all wild animals into hiding.

What’s the scariest sound you can think of?

A new study shows that all animals, from impala to elephant, are more likely to run away from a talking human than a roaring lion. The research has been published in the journal Current Biology. Lead researcher Leanna Zanette is a professor of biology at Western University in Canada. She and her colleagues found that fear is overlooked in predator-prey interactions.

We humans have lived on Earth for a long time, and we have no idea how terrible it is for animals, Zarnett said. When we think about how predators affect prey populations, we think very directly about killing, right? Like when a lion breaks into a herd and kills a zebra, the herd loses one member. But even when predators don’t hunt, they can still scare the pants off their prey and influence their behavior

But once they start running, they don’t stop. In the video recorded by the researchers, the rhinoceros is patting its way up the hill. In another recorded video, a leopard is dragging a large impala home, but after hearing the human voice, it abandons its food and runs away quickly, not even daring to look back. They also observed that elephants did move when they heard a lion roar. But in several videos recorded for this study, they were actually moving in the direction of the sound source.

“One of my favorite records comes from an elephant,” Zanette said. One night, the elephants became so agitated by the presence of a lion that they smashed the video camera and its recording screen went black. But it continues to radio, so you can hear the elephant calling when it finally leaves.” However, the elephants had never reacted this way after hearing a human voice.

Zanette believes that elephants are aware that lions are predators, but they can protect themselves from attacks. And they did. But when the elephants realized that humans were predators, they couldn’t protect themselves, so they fled. They also found that the animals responded very strongly to ordinary human conversation. “Who knew that humans just showed up there and had such an incredible impact on all kinds of animals? This is amazing. It’s really frustrating, isn’t it? Because there are more than 8 billion of us, our footprint is in every corner of the earth. As a result, animal fear of humans pervades the planet widely, and this affects many different animals as well. It’s a whole new kind of human impact on the environment.”

However, they decided to focus on the more positive. Part of their lab’s work is conservation biology. The first rule of conservation biology is never to get frustrated, otherwise you won’t be able to study. Zanette believes that the animals’ instinctive nervous response to human sounds can prevent rhinos from entering dangerous poaching areas. The idea was that it might be possible to set up some speakers to play human voices so that the rhino would hear them and think, “OK, I hear human voices; Humans are there. It’s not a safe place. There’s no way I’m going there.” So they don’t venture into those areas and they don’t get hunted.

reference

https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/the-worlds-most-frightening-animal-sounds-like-this/